Monday, December 26, 2016

67 Year Old With ADHD Test

People my age have two distinct types of parents when it comes to computers. In my case I happen to have both, the "seriously social media addicted grandparent with all the time and energy to stalk all of the family" and the "completely paranoid about new fangled technology and quite decades ago" type. Now of course there may be no hope for the former but I may just have a solution for the latter. This is actually a Christmas tale of hope, anguish, peril and excitement, and it doesn't involve thigh high stockings or penguins. Who knew that was possible?

I had a flash of brilliance the other day, while I was trying to think of something to get my father for Christmas. Now as a few of you know he had moved into assisted living months ago, and you know what that means, yes, he's living the fat life of catered meals, a maid, and cute young nurses checking in on him all hours of the day. In other words, he really wants for nothing. I figured the only thing he didn't have in his life was a way to stay in touch with the outside world, meaning his family scattered across the country. You would think that it would be easy enough for him to use a telephone, but he forgot how to use one about a year ago and refuses to have one now. Well ok someone who has given up on something as complex as a telephone and gave up on computers about two decades ago, doesn't need a computer, so I got him a computer.

Hold on, I'm not THAT big of an idiot, but I play one in blog. Yes I walked into Wal-Mart with every intention to buy my father a computer and I expected to spend all day Christmas day teaching him how to turn it on. A little father-son bonding time, which in the past had always degenerated into name calling, but I did actually have a plan beyond that. You see what I did was I walked in and bought the cheapest two-in-one they had (a Dell Inspiron 11 3168 11.6" Laptop, Touchscreen, 2-in-1, Windows 10 Home, Intel Celeron N3060 Processor, 2GB Memory, 32GB eMMC Storage) for $279. I had figured that, he could just touch the screen, and do basic things. A tablet was out of the question because he would balk at an online screen, and the tablets that come with a keyboard often don't work (very often) which would cause the "f*** it attitude" that usually ends the experiments.

Well to be honest with you all, I F***ING NAILED IT! I had the thing all set up to go before I even got there. Setting up the computer in front of him would have been the first failure of the 67 year old ADHD victim. I demonstrated how turning it off and on was a simple "opening" and "closing" the thing. I also showed him how he could just click the "e" to open Edge, and it would simply open a page with all the news, videos and sports he would ever need. Then I taught him how to click the "home" button to get back home. Techies may balk at Microsoft Edge, but let me tell you, if you are trying to get a computerphobe to use a browser, Microsoft also nailed it. We have now spent less than an hour and my father is surfing the net and better yet, he was enjoying it!

Here's the kicker folks. He asked me what the "microphone icon" at the bottom of the screen was for. As a power user, I don't even have a microphone on my computer, so I have never used Cortana. I clicked the microphone and said "Cortana, who won the Patriots game," and a sweet voice said, "The Patriots crushed the Jets 41 to 3, and have locked up the AFC East as usual" which made my father just sit up and smile. We asked about the weather, how the Celtics were doing, and a few other things that matter to my father. By the time I left he had actually cleared a prominent spot on his favorite end table and plugged the thing in because he was going to play with it during the game later. Trust me folks, anything that will draw his attention from a football game, BIG WIN! Best Christmas Evah!